I'm nearing my 3rd NCLEX-RN test (awaiting my ATT) and the 1st two I had 265 questions. I did much better on the 2nd - according to the results of the performance reports I received. This correlates well with how much I prepared pre-tests and my confidence pre, during, and post-tests.
Because I've recently (Aug and Oct 2006) taken the NCLEX and the sheer number of questions I answered in doing so, I feel qualified in stating that Suzanne's plan is effective and inexpensive. Having the basics reasonably mastered/understood is an obvious and her plan allows testers of various levels of knowledge to gain this by using the book (step 1) and then doing the CD questions (as per her instructions she'll e-mail you after step 1) routinely.
I've found that she's right about a key thing --- it's not the question and your attempted answer (right or wrong) so much as it is reading the RATIONALE that follows. Knowing why you were right or wrong in a brief paragraph seems to do wonders to one's NCLEX abilities! Doing a certain number of questions daily (not too few or too many) seems to be important too. Too many and recall is hindered. Too few and you'll likely not have enough exposure to the huge range of info possible on the test.
I guess I'm not impressed by statements of statistics regarding the NCLEX, like "The odds are in your favor regardless of the number of questions answered."
The majority pass on the 1st attempt. Still, many do not. I had no trouble passing classes in public school, the military's electronics programs, my electronic/computer career post-military, or in my general and nursing courses in college. Still .... I failed the NCLEX not once, but twice. As an individual, reading statistics of the entire population regarding my chances in passing does little to help me. They don't state what important common factors are entailed, like amount and type of study prior to testing.
As an individual honestly reflecting on the past, I have a good idea of what went wrong for me. Much of the "needed" info provided and tested on in college was not "understood" and/or retained well enough to utilize it months later. My study habits to enhance this deficit were poor at best. Basically, I failed due to a lack of effort. Why I lacked this effort is easy to rationalize at a glance (moved to new state, started ICU internship, living with in-laws), but it's the results that count. My priorities were way off and I overestimated my abilities....."I'm a good test-taker." I really am (in general) but that only goes so far. Sure, as a 1st time test taker, you have an 80's% chance of passing if you have some "things" in common with those whom are successful and that's obviously more than just being a 1st time test taker. Failing could just be bad luck for some, but as individuals, we should surely be capable of a self-analysis regarding our knowledge, abilities, and other factors in taking the NCLEX. A raging argument with a spouse prior to the test is likely NOT good, for example.
In reality, we have a 3rd test ahead of us and the resources to pass it with readily available. The resources out there are likely all pretty effective if the effort (regular, concentrated effort) is given. My preference is using Saunder's according to Suzanne's plan and I'm fairly pleased with my effort to date using this material. I certainly don't want to fail again for many, many, many reasons.
LET'S PASS THIS THING and move on!!!